Surf Smarts

First published 2007. To view the latest Heads Up content, click here.

surf.JPGThe Internet can be a great source of information. The trick is finding facts from reliable sources. And when it comes to health, it’s especially important that the information you find is reliable.

Keep these things in mind when getting facts from the Web*:

  • Anyone can publish information on the Web.
  • Information may not be fact-checked or verified.
  • It’s not always clear who writes the information on a Web page.
  • Even on a signed page, the author’s qualifications may be missing.
  • A Web page that looks objective could be a sponsored form of advertising.

Also, ask yourself these questions to evaluate facts you find on a Web site: 

  • Does the site have a sponsor?
  • Is there a link to information about the sponsor?
  • Does the sponsor have a stake in the information provided?
  • Is there advertising on the Web site?
  • Is the author qualified to write on this topic?
  • Does the information show any bias or personal opinion?
  • Is there a date showing when the information was last updated or revised?
  • What topics are covered? How in-depth is the material?

*Source: New Mexico State University Library, “Evaluation Criteria,”


Reliable Resources on the Facts About Drug Abuse
For reliable information on the facts about drug abuse and addiction, check out the sources listed below.

NIDA for Teens: The Science Behind Drug Abuse
Some of the things you’ll find on this site include the “Facts on Drugs” section, where you can locate info about the health effects of specific drugs of abuse.

Heads Up: Real News About Drugs and Your Body
Check out this Web site for cutting-edge research-based articles for teens about drug abuse and addiction. Click on the feature stories on the home page to find out the latest news, as well as the archive of previous articles and stories.

National Addiction Treatment Hotline
1-800-662-HELP (1-800-662-4357) or

Here you’ll find ways to locate help with a specific drug problem, or how to find drug treatment centers in your state and community.

National Network of Tobacco Cessation Quitline
1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669) or

Here you’ll find resources to help quit tobacco use, as well as helpful information about the dangers of tobacco and the benefits of quitting.


Learn more about how drug abuse puts your whole body at risk.


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